Coming Soon – Police in Schools

EMMA JUDD

Swansea’s police are to go back to class in a new drive to have community police based at every comprehensive school in the city within a year.

The plan was announced by Chief Superintendent Mark Mathias during a speech he made at the annual meeting of the Age Concern Swansea charity at St Mary’s Church in the city centre.

He said it would be an opportunity for the officers to get to know pupils and to become further involved with the community. But he stressed the initiative was not about policing the pupils.

“It is my intention, between now and this time next year, to have a police officer working from every comprehensive school in Swansea,” he said.

“I’ve had significant support from all the head teachers. The officers will patrol from those schools, and liaise with pupils at those schools.”

The system has already begun in some schools in the county, including Pontarddulais – an area which has come under the spotlight during recent months for anti-social behaviour.

Mr Mathias said addressing the concerns of older residents, tackling anti-social behaviour and improving community policing had been his priorities since becoming Swansea’s top officer.

He said that now the Swansea region of South Wales Police had 55 neighbourhood officers and 62 Police Community Support Officers, there was one dedicated beat officer for every community in the county.

Mr Mathias said his commitment to helping youngsters will continue.

“I believe that if our force support, manage and sometimes control young people, it would be better for us all,” he said.

“Not all young people are drug users or behave in an anti-social manner. In fact, of the 14 people in Swansea who have Asbos, only two of them are young people.

He added: “Young people today have far more pressure on them than years ago.”